Did you know, the original or indigenous American name of Nantucket Island is Canopache, which means “place of peace”? This picturesque little island nestled off the coast of Massachusetts has something for everyone – romantic getaways, family holidays, an outdoor getaway, an art lover’s getaway and even a getaway for the history buff!
As a highly popular summer destination for visitors, the 10,000 strong population of the island swells to 5 times that number during the tourist season. Here, we look at some of the main attractions of Nantucket Island:
1. The Nantucket beaches
As the well versed visitor will tell you, “there are no bad beaches in Nantucket”. So you can take your pick from any of these:
Surfside Beach: This is somewhere for the surfers to head but may not be the best option for kids because of the powerful waves.
Cisco Beach: Another surfing beach is the Cisco Beach which can be accessed from town on bike (about 6 miles from town).
Other beaches: Then there is Madaket Beach (do you like watching seals?), Siasconset Beach, Jetties Beach and a Children’s beach as well to visit.
2. The Lighthouses
There is something so captivating about lighthouses; they stand steadfast and constant against the elements; the lifeline for sailors of yore. Because of its strategic location, Nantucket is dotted with lighthouses such as Brant Point lighthouse, Sankaty lighthouse, Great Point lighthouse; each with their own history and significance.
3. Whaling museum and other museums
Visitors rate this as one of the top attractions of Nantucket. It offers a history of the island’s whaling past and the artifacts there make for interesting viewing not just for the history buff but for others as well.
Then there is the Nantucket life saving museum offering a fascinating insight into shipwrecks of the past local heroes, the devices used in the old days for lifesaving and more. Great way to know the history of the island!
4. The Nantucket Vineyard, Triple Eight Distillery and Cisco Brewery
Beer, wine or spirits – no matter what your tipple is, this one location is bound to interest. A great place to sight see, have a few drinks and enjoy the music.
5. Other attractions
There is the Costaka Coatue Wildlife refuge where kids can enjoy looking at the raptors, deer, birds, and can also play in the sand dunes. The Aquarium is another favorite with kids. And there are several options for the golfing enthusiast as well with the Sankaty head golf club and the Miacomet golf club.
If you are particular about attending any festival or event, make sure you make a visit at the right time. For example, Daffodil Weekend is in late April, Wine Festival is in May, Film Festival is in June, Sandcastle and Sculpture day is in August, Harvest Festival is in October, and so on. If you want to take advantage of the off season, then March-April & September-October is the good time to have a budget friendly holiday.